As the both chambers of the U.S. Congress decided last week to push ahead with new sanctions on Russian Federation along with Iran and North Korea with overwhelming majority in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea and meddling in USA election, German economy minister Brigitte Zypries called on Brussels to consider countermeasures and said that these new sanctions violate worldwide laws.
"The Americans can't punish German companies because they have business interests in another country", German newspapers quoted her as saying on Monday.
Germany's economics minister on July 31 urged the European Union to fight back against new sanctions by the United States that could penalize Western companies doing business with Russian Federation. The law provides for consultations with Europeans before this can happen, Gabriel said.
Several European nations, but particularly Germany, have been concerned with the wording of the latest USA sanctions, which intend to target foreign investment in Russia's energy industry. She added that "of course we don't want a trade war".
In a separate report, The Local noted that Germany had repeatedly asked Washington not to deviate from the common western sanctions policy against Russian Federation.
"The threat from the United States to also punish European companies by so-called extra-territorial sanctions is not acceptable", said Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries.
In mid-June, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel also criticized the extraterritorial nature of the sanctions imposed by Washington and called it unusual for the European economy to be a target of such measures.
"Unfortunately, that is exactly what they are doing". "We will protect ourselves from the industrial policy under the motto "America Above All" pursued under the pretext of sanctions", he stressed. If the United States does not take European concerns into account sufficiently, the EU would act appropriately.
Targeting German energy importers, however, could be a unsafe mistake for the U.S., as the European Union doesn't have any realistic alternatives to trade with Russian Federation at this point, and will doubtless feel obliged to protect their trade interests, irrespective of America's wishes.
Late on July 31, the White House said it was mulling a response to Russia's massive expulsion of diplomats.
Last Wednesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned the U.S., "If our concerns are not taken into account sufficiently, we stand ready to act appropriately within a matter of days".